QPR 3 Sheffield Wednesday 2
By Ben Kosky MEANINGLESS mid-table snoozefest? Not at all. It s amazing what an exciting game two teams with nothing to play for can sometimes serve up. Arguably this was the best match seen at Loftus Road all season – the first time QPR have come from be
By Ben Kosky
MEANINGLESS mid-table snoozefest? Not at all. It's amazing what an exciting game two teams with nothing to play for can sometimes serve up.
Arguably this was the best match seen at Loftus Road all season - the first time QPR have come from behind to win since the opening day and their first victory over Wednesday since the promotion glory of five years ago.
It would be tempting to say they owed much to the introduction of Rowan Vine, who began Rangers' comeback from 2-0 down just minutes after his arrival, but in truth they had never deserved to be trailing anyway.
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Lee Cook, who set up the Rs' other two goals, is beginning to show glimpses of his old magic, while the recalled Gavin Mahon - who scored at both ends - gave a titanic performance.
On-loan Adel Taarabt again looked Rangers' most potent threat, firing a half-volley over after a one-two with Cook, and then setting up Wayne Routledge, whose finish beat Lee Grant but rebounded off the post.
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Jordi Lopez also figured in several exquisite passing moves, sliding a chance just wide after a return pass from Cook, and teeing up Heidar Helguson, who forced a superb fingertip save from the Owls goalkeeper.
So it was entirely against the run of play when Wednesday went in front 10 minutes before half-time, Etienne Esajas' cross skimming off the head of Mahon and beyond Radek Cerny.
Helguson should have equalised, slamming his finish against the post after Taarabt played him through, and the Moroccan then cut the ball back for Lopez, who placed his drive but was denied by Grant's flying save.
And the Rs found themselves 2-0 down just seven minutes into the second half as Damion Stewart felled Leon Clarke inside the penalty area and Marcus Tudgay slotted a fairly unconvincing spot-kick past Cerny.
It was hardly surprising to hear the crowd singing for Dexter Blackstock at that stage - but they were more than happy to make do with Vine, who netted a tap-in after Grant could only parry Routledge's cross-shot.
Mahon then made amends for his earlier header at the Loft End, diving bravely to head Cook's far-post cross back into the opposite corner and make it 2-2 with 17 minutes still remaining.
You could hardly believe that QPR's pursuit of the play-offs had long since died as they pummelled the Owls defence in search of the winner and Cook's free-kick cannoned off the wall after Richard Hinds had brought down Helguson.
Hinds, struggling under pressure three minutes from time, could only lump the ball behind and, from the corner, Cook's far-post cross picked out Stewart, who rose to nod home.
Rangers had to survive six minutes of added time but, although Cerny leapt to tip Darren Potter's effort over and Tudgay headed onto the roof of the net, it would have been extremely harsh had they been denied all three points.
QPR: Cerny; Ramage, Stewart, Gorkss, Connolly; Routledge, MAHON* (Leigertwood 76), Lopez (Ephraim 68), Cook; Taarabt (Vine 56); Helguson. Subs not used: Delaney, Miller.